Earl & Messer, Attorneys at Law
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What is a Settlement?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, or sustained damages to your vehicle because of another Baton Rouge driver’s careless actions, the at-fault party’s insurance company may be offering you a settlement. This offer, which may appear to be a large amount of money, may look extremely attractive at first. After all, you’ve got medical bills to pay and a vehicle to repair. How else are you supposed to pay for these expenses without accepting the settlement?
When you choose to accept an insurance company’s settlement, you’ll be asked to sign a lot of documents. The fine print in these documents can be damaging for you. These settlement agreements, which are legally binding once you sign them, will prevent you from recovering any further money for vehicle damages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. 

As a Baton Rouge personal injury attorney, I must advise you against accepting what we in the industry often call “quick settlements.” These “deals” are typically offered soon after your car accident before you may know the full extent of your vehicle damages and medical expenses, not to mention how injuries from a car accident may affect your everyday life or your ability to perform the job you used to do before you were in the Baton Rouge car accident. In fact, from all my experience in practicing personal injury law in the states of Louisiana and Texas, I must say that if you’re the victim of a car accident, you shouldn’t be talking to the insurance companies at all without the representation of a reputable personal injury attorney.

Automobile insurance companies aren’t in the business of helping you; they’re in the business of making money. So, when they see an opportunity to cut corners and offer you less money than you really deserve, they’ll do any and everything in their power to try to get you to sign those settlement documents – quickly. The adjuster for the at-fault party’s insurance company may seem like an honest, friendly person, but make no mistake, that person’s job is to pay you as little in monetary damages as possible.

If you’re in a Baton Rouge car accident, as a personal injury attorney, my recommendation is that you first call 911. Even if the accident initially appears minor or you don’t think you or anyone else is injured, you may discover a day or two later that you’re in pain. Getting a police report of the incidents that led to the accident is the best way to document what happened. My next recommendation is that you call a personal injury attorney. I know the insurance companies will say that you should call them immediately. But remember, they’re in the business of making money – and paying you as little as possible for your damages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

Personal injury attorneys like myself have the legal training and experience to review settlement offers, and fight for all the monetary damages you deserve. If you’ve been in a Baton Rouge car wreck, don’t accept the first settlement you’re offered. Call me for a free consultation of your case at (225) 384-6760.